Main Character

By Jimmy Santiago Baca

I went to see How the West Was Won at the Sunshine Theater. Five years old, deep in a plush seat, light turned off, bright screen lit up with MGM roaring lion- in front of me a drunk Indian rose, cursed the western violins and hurled his uncapped bagged bottle of wine at the rocket roaring to the moon. His dark angry body convulsed with his obscene gestures at the screen, and then ushers escorted him up the aisle, and as he staggered past me, I heard his grieving sobs. Red wine streaked blue sky and take-off smoke, sizzled cowboys’ campfires, dripped down barbwire,

slogged the brave, daring scouts who galloped off to mesa buttes to speak peace with Apaches, and made the prairie lush with wine streams. When the movie was over, I squinted at the bright sunny street outside, looking for the main character.